Friday, February 10, 2017

Week of 2/6/17

Good afternoon-

I hope you have all dug out from yesterday and are preparing for the next set of storms to come our way.  

Planning for the 2017-2018 school year has begun and students in currently in grades 9-11 are choosing their courses for next year.  Student access to course recommendations is now open in iStudent and will remain open through the end of the coming week (February 17).  

Students should be approving the core classes recommended by their teachers and choosing up to 6 elective choices.  Refer to the Program of Studies for information on all courses which can be found on the AHS website. Students can enter elective choices into the box that lists each department or the blank elective boxes below the department list.  We ask students to rank the electives #1-6 in order of preference in the comment section.

If you are looking for information on how to support your students with the process please review the PowerPoint we shared with students.  It can also be found on the AHS website.  

The iParent window to approve courses will open on Monday, February 27 through Friday, March 10. The Parent Quick Start Guide for Student Course Recommendations, found here, will walk you through the process. We feel strongly that our teacher's have a good understanding of your students strengths and areas for growth and make great recommendations for course levels.  However, you as a family have the final decision on which courses your child takes.  We expect that you do all that you can to be informed when make these level decisions.  If you wish to override a course recommendation I have attached the Override Process here.  

Parent Conference Night is scheduled for March 2nd from 6-8pm.  The focus of this night will be for parents that wish to discuss overriding a teacher recommendation.  If you are considering an override please call Linda Chaney in the main office at 881-0177 to schedule an appointment.  As always, if you have a concern about your child's academics, parents are always encouraged to reach out to teachers to schedule a meeting at another convenient time. 

On Parent Conference Night, Thursday, March 2nd from 6-8 pm, the AHS Guidance Department will host "Naviance for Parents" in the Distance Learning Lab of the AHS library.  This will be conducted on a "drop-in" basis, and parents will be able to set up their own accounts and browse the outstanding features of this state-of-the art software.  Naviance helps AHS students with self awareness, career information and exploration, and college information and exploration.  No pre-registration is necessary, simply stop by and join us!

Here are few pictures from the week as we celebrated Start With Hello Week.  Start With Hello is an initiative through Sandy Hook Promise with the goal of ending social isolation in schools. We have a lot of work to do to make sure every student at AHS feels safe and welcome but I was proud of our many Peer Leaders and other students who took a risk and got involved.  As adults we were impressed with the students who created a GeoTag for AHS-the band at the bottom of the pictures, that automatically showed up!

Demonstration of a traditional dance

The whole group!
It was also another fun week with our Chinese exchange students learning from them about their culture.  On Monday they shared some information about China with a variety of AHS students from a couple of after school clubs.

How to use chopsticks!
On Tuesday, February 14 at 2pm a representative from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will be here to talk to the Chinese students about the American college application experience.  AHS students are welcome to join!  They will meet in the guidance suite.

Check out the Parent Flyers for information about other community events.

Ashland's Decisions at Every Turn Coalition has new parent and community resources available.  The DAET Winter Newsletter and previously archived issues can be downloaded at  Two new "tip sheets" have been added to the Parenting for Prevention education series: Social-Emotional & Mental Health and Resilience, as well as our full library of tip sheets, are availalble at:

Ashland Raises Healthy & Happy Kids:
Seven things middle school aged kids should be able to do on their own
Parents of younger children can start laying the groundwork for these things now.

  1. Get up, dressed, and washed on their own.
  2. Make their own breakfast.
  3. Make their own lunch.
  4. Do homework on their own.
  5. Do some cooking and cleaning.
  6. Choose their own electives and extra-curricular activities.
  7. Talk to teachers to get clarification on assignments, to ask for help, to ask questions about comments and grades received.  

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